Saturday, September 1, 2018


Virtual Paintout re-opened with a tour of the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Who doesn't love sky-blue water and white sand? Even better, the Google Street View people took their cameras down for strolls along the beach and rides on the water.  Plus no dealing with crowds, or traffic, or crabby customs agents groping through the underwear in one's luggage. Only thing I missed was the flavor of tropical fruit and the scent of freshly grilled seafood.

Anyway.  After spending a whole evening virtually wandering about I chose three locations to capture on watercolor paper. 

The first painting I did was of a location along a long sandy stretch looking out over the water with sailboats in the foreground and an incoming storm.  No worrying about rain ruining my painting though.  Another advantage of the virtual experience.

The second spot looked like a place to get food and rent beach stuff at an area called Rainbow Beach.  I loved the mango and lime color of the building and the fun idea of cruising around the island in that open off-road auto with the big tires.  

The last location I chose was from a water tour into a bay full of boats and ships.  I was able to stop the ride right where I wanted to set up my painting tools and get to work.  Nobody complained about me making them wait in the hot sun while I captured the scene.

These paintings are posted at Virtual Paintout just one down from the top here--Virtual Paintout U.S. Virgin Islands  and they can be seen with a more of my paintings for sale at my Etsy site.  

September's location is Amsterdam!

Saturday, August 18, 2018


It’s August and time for the annual Madison County Fair which takes place just two blocks from our house.

This year the weather was perfect, low 80’s with a light breeze.  We went in the morning while the crowds were still small and the food was fresh.

No carnival rides--with safety standards open to interpretation and sketchy operators--this year.  Almost everything was bouncy.

 The grandson was in competition with a young lady in the next lane to run against a bungee to slam balls into a hoop.

 She was a serious challenger!

 My favorite is always the barns with the 4-H animals.

 There were cages and cages of champion chickens of every kind.

 There were bunnies and goats…

 …and ponies and donkeys, all under the watchful care of junior owners.

 Granddaughter was making friends with a shaggy baby yak.

 My very favorites are the dairy cows.  I entered prize-winning heifers from my mom and dad’s herd when I was a youngster.  One year our pickup truck was unavailable when it came time to take my girl to town.  So mom and I took the back seat out of our car, covered the floor with spud sacks and loaded the calf in.  She loved putting her nose out the window to sniff the fields of alfalfa and wheat as we drove.

 In the small indoor arena an auction was going on to sell the show animals.  After months of work and grooming the young farmers were cashing in.  This sheep went for almost $300.

 This champion steer brought enough money to pay for a new car.  After his owner subtracts his investment of purchase, supplies, feed and time he may have enough to buy another calf and a new pair of boots.

 Our next stop was the pig barn.

 They were also getting groomed for their turn in the auction ring.

 Just don’t say “bacon” or “sausage.”  It’s difficult enough for some of these young people to give up their animals after months of care and concern.

 From there we went through the home crafts,

The art and photo entries,

 Checked out the antique tractors…

 …and the vintage cars.

 After all that we had to go back to the food booths and get some nourishment.  Nothing like deep fried scones with honey-butter to finish off a visit to the fair.

Saturday, May 12, 2018


I sold a couple of paintings in the last two weeks so I had to get busy and replenish the inventory of my Etsy Shop.  I like the challenge of painting glass and reflections so I set up two of my old pint jars and filled them with some vintage marbles from my collection.

Canning jars were once very much a part of everyday life. They were filled with garden and orchard produce at the height of readiness to be processed and stored against the dark days of winter. Now some antique jars are used to hold other items.

After working out a composition and making a sketch or two I transferred a pencil drawing to watercolor paper and stretched it.  When it was ready I painted in a neutral background and began the shadows of the foreground

After that it was mostly just reproducing and enhancing what I'd selected from my reference photos.

It took several days and hours of work to finally work my way through all the details of the marbles and the glass of the jars.

So there it is, "Pint Jars" ready to be purchased as a gift for someone who likes antique glass or for a present for yourself; ready to be framed and displayed.  See it for sale here.

Saturday, May 5, 2018


This painting is done using some of the bottles from my collection of antique glass.

Here is the final result.  It is 9 inches wide and 12 inches high and is painted on Arches 140 cold press paper with Winsor Newton and Daniel Smith professional pigments.  It reminds me of warm afternoons helping my grandma can apricots from the tree in her back yard.

After penciling in a sketch, I masked out some of the areas I wanted to remain the white of the paper and then floated in a wash of purples and greens for the background.

Then I went to work adding details to the big Mason jar.

It took several hours over several days to finish all the details of the glass and the reflections in the surface of the shelf.  This painting and many others are for sale at my Etsy site, Watercolors by Leenie.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018


My previous painting, "Special Delivery" would be a great Father's Day gift.  This one which I'm calling, "Clothesline," would be a nice one to give on Mother's Day.

I grew up long before most homes included an automatic dryer so I've done my share of hanging out clothes.  I even blogged about it here.  And this isn't my first painting on the subject of hanging out clothes.  Another one I posted about here.

And I'm well aware of the job becoming a miserable chore when the weather is freezing or rainy or when a big wind full of dirt comes up.  Still I persist in remembering the joy of white sheets against blue sky with birds singing, accompanied by happy baby babble.  

So I drew up a composition and went to work layering in colors of green for the trees and lawn, working around all the areas I wanted to retain the white of the paper.

I got to this point without much concern.  Trees and grass are pretty forgiving even when the artist gets a little sloppy.  The dog went okay with his happy smile and floppy tongue.  But I had to put the whole thing away and think about it overnight... 

...before I got brave enough to take on the faces of the mom and baby.  This and many more of my paintings are available for sale at my Etsy Site, Watercolors by Leenie.

Monday, April 9, 2018


I've just finished another watercolor.  This one I'm calling, "Special Delivery."  It is available for purchase at my Etsy Site, Watercolors by Leenie.

Here is a fisherman enjoying a morning away from his daily duties.  He's delivering a lure across the water hoping to attract the attention of a big fish.

I used some of my photos as references, put together a composition and then made a line drawing to be transferred to 140cp Arches watercolor paper.

I used masking fluid to protect some whites I wanted to preserve and then put down a layer of bright yellow highlights.

When that wash was dry I added darker details to the trees.

The final details to the fisherman and the water I put in the next day.  The completed work is 11 inches high and 15 inches wide.  

I had to get busy painting after I sold six large works to a store in North Carolina and another to a repeat customer in California.   I'm guessing these people recognize the prices for these one-of-a-kind paintings are way below what they would cost in a gallery. 

Saturday, February 3, 2018


I've finished and posted a new watercolor at my Etsy Site - Watercolors by Leenie.

It is of an antique pitcher and basin I saw on a table in the ghost town of Custer, Idaho. 

Late in the 1800's Custer, Idaho was a booming gold mining town. When the gold played out it was abandoned. Today Custer has been restored and preserved for history. Some of the items in the buildings were left behind by former inhabitants. Others are antiques from that era.
By a sunny window decorated with lace curtains, this pitcher and basin reflected the light. I tried to capture the pearlescent colors and the shine of the surfaces. All the time I was painting I was thinking of pioneer women who brought fine china to display in their houses as they worked to call this rustic place home.

"Ironstone" is my 11x15 inch ORIGINAL WATERCOLOR painted on Arches 140cp watercolor paper with Winsor Newton and Daniel Smith professional pigments. This is a one of a kind work of art.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018


After being right in the path of the total solar eclipse in August of last year it was a bonus to learn there would be another show put on by the moon at the end of January.

 Astronomers were saying this kind of lunar event hasn’t been seen since 1866---or 1982. 

So I got up before dawn to see the second full moon in a month (blue moon) happening when the moon is supposed to be larger and brighter because it is closer in its orbit (super moon) which ALSO coincided with a total lunar eclipse (blood moon)—BUT the sky was cloudy.

Since I was already up I decided to put on my warm clothes and go for a walk.

 I walked out into the street just as the clouds were beginning to break up so I got a good view of the moon coming out of the earth’s shadow.
By the time I’d crossed Main Street and made my way to the park…

…the day was beginning and the big full moon was returning to its normal brightness.

In other news…

 This neighborhood which was leveled in the spring of 2016…

 …now looks like this.  It is with mixed feelings that I watch our little town turn into a big town.  More stores mean more convenience.

More businesses, services and schools mean more opportunities.

 But more people also brings more traffic and more crowds.   We try to hang on to the small town friendliness but it seems to be leaving with our open views of the skies.